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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pickoff Moves

Derek Lowe's Next Request

Via The Onion. (Hat tip, Jon.)

Jay Jaffe Answers Some Questions

... in Tuesday's chat, starting with mine:
scareduck (Still closer to Angel Stadium than Chavez Ravine): Three questions: 1) For my Cubs lovin' wife, are the Northsiders for real? They've done well so far, but what are their big questions down the stretch? 2) Is there any light at the end of the Andruw Jones tunnel, or is that the sound of a diesel locomotive? 3) Joe Torre: great manager, or *greatest* manager? Seriously, look at Friday's Dodgers lineup: how could he expect to win?

Jay Jaffe: Cubs: for real. Their run differential is the best in all of baseball by a wide margin, and I don't see any of the other NL Central teams being able to hang with them. I think the big questions are whether Rich Hill rediscovers his control and returns to the rotation, and whether Kerry Wood can hold up as the team's closer. Barring injuries, I think they'll be OK, and even with those injuries, they have a bit of depth to either cover from within or make a trade to help themselves out.

Andruw: lots of questions about him today. The upside of his injury is that it may explain some of his struggles, it may force him to get back in shape as he rehabs, and it will give Dodger fans a bit of relief when it comes to the daily drama of the outfield lineup.

Torre: Furcal being hurt certainly takes a bite out of that lineup. But really, Torre's going to have to get over this Russell Martin-at-3B fetish, even though it's only been a total of 37 innings he's played there. It's fine to give him a breather now and then, but when you're stealing at-bats from DeWitt or LaRoche to give them to Gary Bennett, something is definitely wrong.

jlebeck66 (WI): Dodgers. DeWitt. LaRoche. How's this gonna end? Did LaRoche anger a deity or something?

Jay Jaffe: Sticking with this topic for a moment, I'm as big a LaRoche booster as you'll find, but DeWitt is knocking the stuffing out of the ball. I don't expect that to continue unabated, but there's no sense in sitting him down right now.

From a long-term standpoint, it's a nice problem to have. I'd hate to see them trade LaRoche, but I don't think they necessarily have to. I wonder whether the Dodgers would consider revisiting the DeWitt-to-second experiment that they tried in 2006, when the kid was at Vero Beach. With Jeff Kent clearly showing his age and Tony Abreu apparently joining the Federal Witness Protection program, that may be a palatable option.

Marco (San Diego): Jay, Somewhat of a sigh of relief about Peavy's elbow. Some reports around here say he'll miss anywhere from 15 days to six weeks. Knowing Peavy's competitive nature, and the fact that Towers' job might be on the line, is there a concern he is rushed back? What do you know about his injury?

Jay Jaffe: I don't know anything beyond what Will Carroll wrote in today's UTK (the team isn't saying anything about Peavy's MRI, but they used the word strained, suggesting a muscular injury). But if Towers' job really is on the line, then the team deserves to crash, burn, and then get swallowed by the ocean, because he's done one hell of a job in San Diego, building contenders on shoestring budgets.

As a Dodger fan, I'll trade you Towers for Colletti even up.

The Padres' season looks pretty close to lost already. I don't see where rushing Peavy back would do any good, particularly now that they've made a serious long-term investment in him. Why would they risk damaging the organization's top asset?

The Coolest Cover Of Sports Illustrated Ever (That Didn't Have Cindy Crawford On It)

Coolest cover, ever

Maybe the Cindy Crawford reference is dating me (quite a bit, actually, and no, I have no idea whether Ms. Crawford ever actually appeared on an SI cover), but Sports Illustrated has commissioned a DC Comics illustration for their May 26 issue, for the lead story of the bizarro scene in baseball, particularly the AL East. Mark Bagley had almost no time to turn this one around:
Bagley, who, heroically, is scheduled to provide pencils for all 52 issues of “Trinity,” told CBR News Tuesday evening, “Dan Didio called me Thursday afternoon asking if I could do the pencils. I asked him what the deadline was and he said inked and colored by Monday. I said something nasty, and agreed to do it. From then I dealt with Mark Chiarello.

“'SI' gave me a paragraph long description of what they needed, and I went to town with some sketches. I had a sketch approved by noon on Friday, and finished the piece Saturday morning.

“Karl Story is local to me, so he agreed to do the inking chores and when he finished doing a great job, he scanned and emailed the art to Mark, who colored it. I’m tired but what a great opportunity.”

I tried to find that issue yesterday at three different stores but couldn't. I'm gonna run to the Westwood newsstand I sometimes go to later today to see if they've got it. What a great cover! (Via BTF.)

The Angels And Dodgers Have A Plan

And it might sound familiar.

Late: Brian Kamenetzky On The Angels' Non-Trade For Cabrera

A good idea, in retrospect and with not a lot of at-bats to prove it. The Angels needed the pitching they would have had to move, and Miguel just ain't hitting, plus there are signs that he might be slowing down substantially.

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Rob, my comic-book-dork friend INSISTS I point out that the SI cover was done by DC Comics, not Marvel (you can tell since Superman is in it and so is the Batman logo, and they're DC properties).

Personally I could care less, but apparently it's a huge deal to comic fans.
Yeah, it actually is; I happen to know Marv Wolfman, who used to be the chief editor at DC, and it seems there's been a longstanding competition between the two.

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